Thursday, September 23, 2010
Byhalia falls in first district game
By CLAUDE VINSON
It was Indians versus Warriors Friday night in Byhalia’s first district game of the 2010 season.
Byhalia was at home after coming off a road loss to across-the-border nemesis, Westwood (Tenn.). The Indians were entering with a 3-1 mark and the Senatobia Warriors had a 2-2 record.
Byhalia received to start the game and Patrick Malone caught it and ran it to the 43 of the Warriors. Markez Saulsbury was the starting gunslinger for Byhalia and there was a little confusion in the backfield which affected the timing and the ball was picked by Senatobia. The visitors made a good gain off of the interception but were set back 20 yards by consecutive penalties. Tyler Pirtle was taking snaps for Senatobia, flanked by two wing backs. Warriors went out on downs while trying a desperation pass on a fourth and 17.
Saulsbury was operating from the shotgun. There was a fumble recovered by the Indians but it left a big hole which forced them to punt from about their 10-yard line. The punt was a good one, traveling to the Warrior 23.
Senatobia picked up a first down, then Pirtle, after faking a smooth hand off to a wingback, blazed down the left side, outran everyone and went in standing up. They booted the extra point and had a 7-0 lead.
The Indians had an injury timeout when a man went down. They could not turn a first and Saulsbury punted away. Senatobia received the ball and began mixing their plays to their advantage. The visitors had a first down called back on an illegal procedure, which was followed by an illegal “block in the back.” That brought up a third and 23 which the visitors couldn’t negotiate.
Byhalia completed two passes to Malone, but had to punt. Byhalia was getting off good kicks with the latest going to the 24. The Indians rushed the Warriors and pinned them without a gain, but Senatobia also launched a long punt.
Byhalia moved the chains on a straight buck up the middle by Terence Phinisee but the quarter expired with the Indians over the ball on a third and 5 just inside Warrior territory and trailing 7-0.
The Indians had a bad snap on the fourth down and the punter had to recover and try to run the ball out. A flag was thrown against the Indian offense and the Warriors took over on downs. They immediately used the option play to walk in for another six. It was 14-0 after the kick.
After the ground crew brought the chains out, Devonte Norman made up the inches by bursting through for a long run and a first. Andrey Collins backed him up with another first to the 15. Collins got the call again and this time broke it for a score. The extra-point try failed but the Indians had broken the scoring drought and were 14-6 with 5:40 left in the half.
The Warriors were keeping the ball on the ground and steadily marching to field goal range. With 2:45 left, Pirtle pulled off a textbook fake, kept and ran in for his second touchdown. The kick was good and it was 21-6.
The Indians fumbled on their possession and Pirtle threw a long pass to the left endzone. There was a defending Indian in the area but the pigskin was hauled in by Quin Burdette. The extra-point try was no good, and the score was 27-6. That was the halftime score when Byhalia couldn’t turn successive first downs.
The third quarter was pretty much a stalemate. The Indians were putting up a good defense and their offense was also getting notice. Norman broke a long one for a score but had it called back on a holding penalty. Malone was taking direct snaps with good results until the ball was lost on a fumble.
Pirtle was using the option to Burdette with optimum effect. Byhalia dodged a bullet when a touchdown run by Pirtle was negated by an infraction. The Warriors were set back but still scored on the next play. They went up 34-6.
With about 1:39 left, Malone came out of the backfield and carried the mail to paydirt. The Indians failed to convert and the score was 34-12 when the third ended.
Play resumed after the change of direction and the Indian defense was still hanging tough.
Norman later took a handoff from Malone, broke two tackles and won the foot race to add six more. There was no extra point, but the deficit was cut to 16 at 34-18. The Indians made a successful onside kick; however, they suffered a big penalty and faced a fourth and 20. They went for it but the intended receiver dropped the ball.
That left the Warriors in good field position and they were still using Burdette as the work horse. It didn’t take long to score. Their kick went wide but they had added six more for a 40-18 mark.
The Indians scored once more on a quarterback sneak but failed in the try for two. The clock ran down as the Warriors were approaching the Indian red zone. The final score was 40-24.
“We played poorly the first half,” coach Markeith Washington said. “In the second half, we turned it on offensively. We had a horrible night defensively.”
Norman carried 13 times for 156 yards and Collins eight times for 54 yards. Collins also had four kickoff returns for 50 yards. Malone carried seven times for 107 yards, caught seven passes for 85 yards and returned two kickoffs for 56 yards.
Cordell Anderson led the defense with 12 tackles, while DeAndre Buchanan had 10, and Reginald Richmond has seven tackles and a sack.
The Indians have a date with the undefeated Commodores of Lafayette this Friday in Oxford, another district foe. The Indians are now 3-2, 0-1 on the season.
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